There are many lineages of yoga these days that include hot, power, flow, and sometimes combine all three characteristics.
Power classes tend to be fast-paced flow classes, which can incorporate heat, and often attract yogis with athletic mindsets. If you are a Power yoga lover, you may want to also try an Ashtanga studio or class. Why? You will work up a natural heat, a great sweat, and work hard during Ashtanga’s primary series.
Here are 3 reasons energetic Power yogis will love Ashtanga.
1. Jump-Throughs, Jump-Backs, and Vinyasas
Vinyasa-style junkies and Power people are very accustomed to jumping forward from Downward Facing Dog to Forward Fold during a standing sequence. Similarly, you may also enjoy jumping back into Chaturanga from Forward Fold.
In Ashtanga, you will still be able to do these “standing” jumps, but add what is called the “jump-through” and a “jump-back” in the seated sequence of Ashtanga’s primary series.
Jump-backs happen when you are ready to start a Vinyasa to change sides or postures of the seated sequence. They replace a step back into High Plank, which you may already be accustomed to. To jump back, you must first lift yourself off the ground with enough height that your legs can undo themselves from their previous twist or fold and then send them backward and long to land in Chaturanga.
Jump-throughs happen after you have completed a Vinyasa to switch sides or postures in the seated sequence. From Down Dog, you will float your feet forward through your arms, landing on your derrière with your legs already in the position of the next pose. Placing your legs in position for a seated Forward Fold, a Twist, or a Janu Sirsasana can be challenging.
2. Versions A, B, C, and D of Poses
There are a couple of places and poses in the primary series that allow you to explore all of the versions of the pose. Typically in a Power class you will do only one version of a pose or maybe two versions at most.
Ashtanga’s primary series has Wide Legged Forward Fold (A-D), Seated Forward Fold (A-C), Head to Knee Pose (A-D), and Marichi’s Pose (A-D) to name a few. Building in the various versions of these poses allows the yogi to really work on mastering the complexities these postures offer.
3. Backbend Options
Ashtanga offer many options when it comes to backbends too. You may choose to simply do Wheel Pose here. You may also choose to drop into Wheel from a Handstand or from standing position. If you’re a Power yogi, you probably want to push yourself (within healthy limits) to explore the possibilities.
Power yoga lovers enjoy challenging themselves and pushing their bodies in an athletic and aerobic style of workout, so exploring yoga through an Ashtanga practice can sometimes be the perfect fit.
Please remember to always listen to your body and use props (especially blocks!) for stretching your forward folds and straps for obtaining a bind and deepening a twist.